Decluttering Your Living Space This Spring May Be your #BestMedicine

Feeling more overwhelmed or anxious than usual lately? It could be down to a number of things: a tough project at work or not enough downtime to relax. But have you looked around your home lately? If stress levels are running high these days, don’t overlook a very simple activity that can really help you feel more at peace with your surroundings: clearing the clutter. Taking some time to declutter your space could be your #bestmedicine.

The Psychological Effects of Clutter

Experts say that clutter has a psychological impact on us. Sandra K. Tunajek, CRNA, DNP, and consultant for the Council for Public Interest in Anesthesia, explains that, while we certainly are genetically programmed to collect and accumulate things, “Living in a cluttered home can create subtle, constant, low-grade stress. Anxiety over clutter messes with your brain’s alpha waves and interferes with your sleep, making you more fatigued and impacting your hormone levels.” So if you’ve had a hard time getting to sleep lately or feel drained more often than not, clutter could be to blame.

You don’t have to be a pack rat to enjoy the benefits of a quick declutter session, either. Throwing things away and getting organized can help improve focus, clarity, and overall well-being. I know I feel more stressed when trying to stay productive in a messy workspace. I need to work with a completely clear desk, or as Tunajek confirms, I’ll experience anxiety over the clutter and find it almost impossible to focus.

‘Tis the Season

Spring is the perfect time to take on some serious house cleaning, or at least knuckle down and reorganize a specific room (your office, your bedroom, or your living room, for example). Don’t feel that you need to tackle everything in your home at once. Why not plan to focus on one cleaning task every weekend for a little while? Whether it’s clearing out the closets and pantry, dusting off shelving and blinds, organizing boxes and files, washing the windows, or deep-cleaning carpets and rugs, think of it as a natural part of the renewal cycle of spring as we say goodbye to our old messes.

In addition to taking care of those outdated items and extra things around the home, don’t forget about toxins that may have accumulated in certain areas over the winter months. The American Cleaning Institute reminds us to follow the ABCs of spring cleaning. First off, make sure to wash all bedding and curtains, dust hard-to-reach surfaces, and use a wet mop on your most well-traveled floors to counteract the effects of allergens. It’s also a good idea to disinfect certain areas of the home that are at risk of bacteria buildup. For example, clean all the doorknobs and wipe down your kitchen countertops.

It’s the perfect time to dedicate a weekend to some serious spring cleaning, but if you’re really busy, attack your built-up messes one by one over a few weeks. Now you can look forward to a cleaner living or work space — and some added peace of mind.

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